Friends, if you only make one thing this weekend, let it be this. I am utterly obsessed with this tangy-spicy-salty salad, like gone-in-24-hours-all-by-myself obsessed, and I want to share this happiness.
Ever had elotes? Grilled corn-on-the-cob slathered with creamy chili-lime sauce and salty cotija cheese, Mexican street food of our dreams? We’re making esquites, the off-the-cob version. Less messy to eat, even easier to shovel into our mouths nonstop.
Let’s do this!
We’re grilling corn on the cob until it’s just a little bit perfectly charred, slicing the kernels off, and dumping them in a big mixing bowl with all the best flavors. There’s the usual perfection of cilantro + jalapeno + garlic + lime, but it’s the super-salty crumbled cotija cheese that takes this salad over the top.
Serve up a heaping spoonful with skewered cajun-spiced shrimp, with tart lime-sprinkled tilapia, with a big bag of chips (and extra creamy sour cream) for scooping. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Because this salad can be served at room temp, it’s perfect for barbecues and potlucks. You can mix together everything but the corn up to a day ahead of time and toss it together at the last minute.
This recipe is lightly adapted from Serious Eats, which has a great stovetop method for sauteing kernels instead of grilling. This salad might be the only thing that could make turning on the stove worthwhile when it’s this hot outside, but let’s go with the grill because we can.
- 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
- 2 T. fat-free mayonnaise
- 3 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup green onions, finely chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeded & minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T. lime juice
- 1 t. chili powder
- salt to taste
- Grill the corn over high heat for 5 minutes on each side, until corn is cooked and kernels are charring.
- Cut the kernels from the cob and combine in a large mixing bowl with all other ingredients.
- Serve warm or at room temp. Salad will keep in the fridge for several days.
You can roast the corn under the broiler if you prefer not to grill.